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Whats so important about...Design & Technology?

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Introduction

So why is Design & Technology important? What is unique about the subject? What does it teach pupils of today? What relevance does it have beyond school? What is to gain from it? What did I gain form Design & Technology in my education? How has Design & Technology been perceived in the past? What does it look like today and what has it to offer children of the future? What happened to 'Crafts' and 'Practical Skills'? Does Design & Technology have something for everyone? What can I offer Design & Technology? "One unique feature of Design & Technology in schools is that pupils learn by doing, through taking action." Learning of this nature, through doing and taking action offers a unique and powerful experience for pupils of all ages. (Spendlove, 2008) Design & Technology provides a context for pupils to develop knowledge, understanding and skills using a variety of materials. They will participate in tasks that will help to develop ideas, plan, produce products to meet human needs and evaluate them. Stimulating contexts provide ample opportunities for pupils to implement and expand on creative thinking, problem solving skills as individuals and as team members and will provide possibilities to draw on local ethos, community and impacts on the world. ...read more.

Middle

that went off to research a project that was self managed and planned by myself (okay with a little guidance from my teacher!), I had to be a creative thinker generating ideas to solve complex and demanding problems, from this I was encouraged to reflect upon ideas and outcomes and evaluate and modify where applicable. Certain projects were required for us to work in teams and I can honestly say that I took part in all my lessons in an effective, analytical and reflective way. Now I knew nothing of PLTS until earlier this academic year yet I am all of those and I believe I owe a lot to my education in D&T for them. On a recent trip to Thales a manufacturing company in Surrey, we talked about the types of skills and attributes they looked for in applicants for working in their company, the elements of PLTS alongside the Functional Skills were common in all departments. Since then discussions with other employers around the south-east have all said the same, this skills are essential. Design & Technology provides them in its own context that to me makes the subject relevant to life beyond school, they make pupils employable. ...read more.

Conclusion

Skills learnt in Focus Practical Tasks (FPT) can be transferable and can be built upon when setting full Design & Make Assignments (DMA). I know I would have benefitted from them in my secondary education and I wouldn't want the knowledge and skills being forgotten in this modern world of Computer Aided Design and Manufacture; even though CAD/CAM has its place in the curriculum as well. So with regards to the questions set out before, Design & Technology has a number of attributes that make it unique in the way that PLTS and Functional Skills fall almost effortlessly into a relevant today's world and youth culture. It provides untold amounts of contexts to learn about social, moral, ethical and environmental issues. It can provide a vocational and academic backdrop for developing key skills and practical application. It can engage all types of pupils in fun, exciting but relevant ways as long as the focus of learning is put before the outcome of what will be taken home at the end of the project. I bring skills, passion and enthusiasm to Design & Technology and I am not alone in doing so, but I plan to demonstrate how important Design & Technology is by contributing to the development of every individual in becoming creative thinkers, independent enquirers, self-managers and reflective learners that can work alone or as an effective participator of a team. ...read more.

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